Chabad-Lubavitch has a long history of trying to make Jewish observance fun for children, a tactic well-documented in a recent book about the history of the movement. Comic strips played a major role, and for more than twenty-five years now, one of the most popular characters has been Shpy, a detective who solves crimes and resolves holiday mysteries. His arch-nemesis is Yetzer Hora, and his assistants include Agent 613. Until now, the strip's author was unknown to the wider world. Turns out, it's Al Jaffee of Mad Magazine.
In Montana, a rabbi is an unusual sight. So when a Hasidic one walked into the State Capitol last December, with his long beard, black hat and long black coat, a police officer grabbed his bomb-sniffing German shepherd and went to ask the exotic visitor a few questions. [more inside]